“Know your customer.” This is a mantra that great marketers have drilled into their heads – and for good reason. The more you know your customer, the more easily you can serve quality content, develop in-demand products and provide customer service that will delight them.
A buyer persona is the ultimate form of knowing your customer. It is a profile of a person who represents the exact center of your target market. This ideal (fictional) customer is given a name, age, even a profile picture, and made into a “real” person by leveraging data and knowledge about existing customers.
Here are 55 data-driven questions you should ask yourself when building your buyer personas:
- How old is she?
- What is her gender?
- Where does she live?
- What is her education level?
- Is she married?
- Does she have children?
- Does she have any pets?
- How many friends does she have?
- Is she a homeowner or renter?
- Does she own a vehicle? If so, what brand?
- What is her income?
- What industry does she work in?
- What is her role?
- What are her main responsibilities?
- What are some of his his major life events?
- What are his biggest life challenges?
- What are his career goals?
- What are his biggest career challenges?
- Does he enjoy his job?
- What causes the most stress in his life?
- What accomplishments is he most proud of?
- Does he enjoy spending time with his family? Friends?
- Is he concerned about the environment?
- Is he political?
- Is he religious?
- What are his major interests and hobbies?
- Does he follow the latest trends and fashions?
- Is he interested in celebrity culture?
- Is he extroverted or introverted?
Behavior and Preferences
- What websites does she frequently visit?
- What social networks does she use?
- How large is her online influence?
- What newspapers, magazines, blog and other publications does she read?
- What devices does she own/use?
- Is she tech-savvy?
- What are her favorite TV shows?
- What are her favorite musicians and artists?
- Where does she like to shop?
- What are her favorite restaurants?
- When is she most active online?
- How does she prefer to receive communications from businesses?
- How does she learn new information?
- What type of content does she prefer (text, photos, videos)?
- Doe she travel? For work or for pleasure?
- Does he use the internet to conduct research before making a purchase?
- How many sources does he use to conduct purchase research?
- Does he often make impulsive purchases?
- Is he more concerned with price or quality?
- Is he aware of his need for your product?
- Has he expressed a desire to purchase your product?
- Has he expressed a desire to purchase your competitor’s product?
- Does he publicly share his positive/negative experiences with brands online?
- Who does he trust for product recommendations?
- Is he loyal to certain brands?
- Does he often make repeat purchases without exploring alternatives?
These 55 questions will take you nearly all the way towards building a complete understanding of your buyer persona. However, remember that personas must be built using data, not hunches. It’s not enough to just go “by the gut” when answering these questions. Robust data and insights about your current customers, ideal customers, competitor’s customers and other consumers should be baked into the persona for it to be relevant to your marketing efforts.
What other questions would you add to the list?